Mudcat Café message #3898904 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162666   Message #3898904
Posted By: Richard Mellish
11-Jan-18 - 01:55 PM
Thread Name: New Book: Folk Song in England
Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
Just picking up on one of Jim's points:
> "Blind Beggar"
The length of the totally unsingable (50-odd verse) early version compered to the beautifully streamlined shorter traditional one indicates that the former well might have been a very-overindulged composition based on she latter <

While that is not impossible, an alternative (and for most of us much more plausible) scenario is that the very long version was the original, in the fashion of its time, and that the ballad subsequently got cut down by singers, and/or by later broadside printers with or without the aid of their current writers. It certainly was printed umpteen times over the years: 317 entries in the Roud Broadside Index.

And what about the plot? Does it seem like a true account or a fictional tale calculated to appeal to a poor clientele?